Malnutrition is a grave national concern. It is the single largest contributor to diseases countrywide. People’s poor access to food and particularly healthy food are the reasons behind the dismal situation. Chicken meat and eggs are the cheapest sources of high-quality proteins. So, the poultry industry has appeared before the people as a blessing for them. Poultry farms started providing nutrition for the people by supplying meats and eggs at an affordable price.
Chicken meat and eggs easily found a place in meals of people but consumers experienced a violent jerking following sudden onslaught of Covid-19 pandemic that created an adverse impact in the poultry sector. The virus straightaway disrupted the poultry output system. Scores of small and medium poultry farms faced abrupt closure. Moreover, when the Covid-19 first broke out in the country, an unfounded rumour caused a major damage to this industry in particular. The farm owners faced such rumours that the coronavirus could be transmitted to people through livestock and livestock products. So, they failed to sell their market-ready birds at desired prices.This was the beginning of damage to the vital industry. As per revelation of the president of Bangladesh Poultry Industries’ Central Council, poultry sector incurred a Tk 70-billion loss between March and May last year. About 25-30% of the entrepreneurs lost their working capital over the last four to five months. The phenomenon has created an adverse impact in market. Chicken production fell down miserably pushing up the prices of poultry birds.
Improved nutrition status can have a significant impact on survival as well as physical and cognitive development. So, for the greater interest of public health, poultry industry needs all-out support on an urgent basis. Although the government has provided significant incentive to the industry, but such incentive should be continued in the coming days by minimising VAT on inputs and outputs. At the same time, banking support for all stakeholders should be continued through interest waiver and rescheduling of loan. Small poultry farmers need greater financial support so that they can restart their farm activities.